Facing your fears makes you courageous

Guts and glory are mere perceptions. The reality is in experiences and in learning from them. It’s through the experiencing and the learning that the soul is enriched.
When we watch a movie and admire a hero for the way he or she has fought for justice, against perpetrators of evil or crime or injustice, we come back feeling good. We loved the movie. But we don’t really think any of it is real. Because it’s just a story enacted for our entertainment. In real Life when we meet the actor, we do say we admire him or her and their ‘acting’. We know little about who they really are for us to be able to see the person behind the actor.
So it is with real Life heroism. Often people look at others around them and call them courageous and celebrate their valor or the stance they have taken in Life on fighting injustice or simply meeting a challenge head on. Someone who has found a deadly disease like cancer is often seen as a champion. Someone who has lived on despite the passing away of a loved one is believed to be very bold. Someone who fights injustice is seen as a ‘fearless’ crusader. And someone who refuses to run away from a seemingly impossible situation is believed to be incredibly resilient.
To be sure, everyone who has ever lived has had to encounter fear. Fear spares no one. Interestingly though all of us have the ability to be courageous. Because courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is what fear delivers when you face up to the fear. Because only when you face up to something, will you realize that it cannot harm you. Only what you run away from chases you, haunts you.
In a health challenge like cancer, you can feel fearful of death. But as long as you run scared of death, it will torment you. But the moment you discover that death is a non-negotiable eventuality that all of us who are born have to confront, you will no longer fear death. Then you start living. And despite your speeding to death, owing to your personal situation, you begin to feel blessed that at least you reasonably know how much time you have left to live. And you start investing in the living than obsess with the dying. Fear of death has delivered to you the ability__courage__to live simply because you stopped running away from death.

This is true with every Life situation. The more you run away from a problem, the more fearful you will be. When you face it, the problem, even if it doesn’t go away, will at least stop tormenting you. So, face your fears. It is from facing them that you become courageous!

Fear is a toothless opponent

Live without fear. It is fear that robs us of our ability to live freely.

We fear everything. Darkness. Loss of money. Death. Breakdown in relationships. Expectations not being met. Loss of face. Reputation. How can we claim to be alive when are operating under the influence of a debilitating, restricting force?

The best way to expunge fear is to ask yourself ‘what is the worst that can happen’ in any given situation and decide to face that moment. When you make that decision to confront a situation, when you walk up to it, fear will recede. Fear is actually a toothless opponent. Fear fears reality. And you, the real you, are the truth. But you think someone is more powerful than you. You think if you lose money you are finished. You think if you die, it’s all over. You think if a business contract does not come through you will be bankrupt. You think if someone says something about you in public, your reputation will be lost. But if you, in each of these situations, decide to not worry about the outcomes, will fear still torment you? Suppose you say, let the most powerful man on the planet come to you, and you will be unmoved, unfazed; what can happen to you? Maybe that man may come and kill you? Let him. Then where’s your fear? The truth is the man can kill your body, not you. Suppose you are willing to live a Life beyond and after losing all your money, what need you be afraid of? If something is hounding you, haunting you just now, be sure, be aware, that you are allowing it to do so. Your spouse is not an issue. But your thought of your spouse being unfaithful, your expectation of loyalty, your fear of being led up the garden path and being stranded alone, this is your problem. So, who should deal with this problem? You. And the best way to do it is to say, “So, what?” Say that and you are free no sooner than you have uttered those magical words. They are like a miracle mantra. Use them in any situation and you will be fearless.

Between you and fearlessness lies your awareness of your true Self. Fear has heaped layer after layer of deception and controls you this way. When you realize you are not your body, you are not your relationship, you are not your job, you are not your business, you are not your bank account, this awareness is liberating. Your true Self then emerges and fear, meekly, slinks away, drowned in the light of your awakening. 

Don’t fear uncertainty – simply take it as it comes!

Living with uncertainty is not something be afraid of. The very nature of Life is uncertain. So, why be afraid? 
It is your conditioning and education that makes you imagine that everything in Life is going per your plan. But in reality Life is happening at its own pace, with its own themes and contexts for you, and you have only been adapting to it.  You don’t see Life this way until you rupture a blood vessel in you or until someone you love dies or until you are rendered jobless or until you are placed in a situation that defies all reason and logic. That’s when you realize that things are not in your control. Actually, nothing was ever in your control. You just thought so – you just imagined you were controlling your Life. Now, fear sets in because your mind tells you that you are not in control. You don’t know what will happen. And your mind whips up imagined situations. So, if you have a health challenge, your mind will tell you that you are going to die. Or if you have lost someone you love, your mind will tell you that it is impossible to be lonely. When you are without a job, your mind will tell you that you are going to run out of your savings and that your family’s living standards are going to be affected. But think deeply – when did Life give you any guarantee that your Life will be this way or that way? When was Life certain? Around you, in your family, people have been dealing with the inscrutability of Life. Haven’t you suddenly seen a whole plane – MH 370 – disappear with none of the world’s technologies or super powers being able to trace it? You see this tryst with uncertainty happening around you, all the time, but when you are confronted with it, you fear it. Why?
Drop the expectation that you must know how your Life will be. Just learn to live with what is. When you do this you become free from anxiety and worry. Remember what the essence of the Bhagavad Gita – “What have you lost for which you weep? What did you bring with you, which you have lost? What did you produce, which has perished? You did not bring anything when you were born. Whatever you have taken, it is taken from here. Whatever you have given, it is given here. You came empty-handed and you will go the same way.” If you understand this truism about Life, you will become fearless. You can be fearless when you understand the impermanent and transient nature of Life. Then you will learn to be detached from everything – from your wealth, your qualifications, your relationships, your living standards, your fame and from everything that holds you hostage. You will then be free.
Getting to this state of awareness and detachment is not difficult. It is simple. You just have to stop imposing conditions on Life. And you must stop fearing the unknown. Just be adventurous. Life is happening to you now – take the plunge and savor every moment. Don’t question. Don’t resist. Don’t fear. Just be and take it as it comes.